Honoring the Fallen or Staged Photo-Op?

Smart Power in Pakistan

In a continuation of what appears to be the administration's policy Sec. State Clinton dissed the Pakistani government in a press conference with media there.

ISLAMABAD – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that Pakistan squandered opportunities over the years to kill or capture leaders of the al-Qaida terrorist network responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

While U.S. officials have said they believe Osama bin Laden and senior lieutenants have been hiding in the rugged terrain along the border with Afghanistan, Clinton's unusually blunt comments went further as she suggested that Pakistan's government has done too little to act against al-Qaida's top echelon.

"I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to," Clinton said in an interview with Pakistani journalists in Lahore. "Maybe that's the case. Maybe they're not gettable. I don't know."

Kick our allies in the teeth, coddle our enemies. Quite the strategy. I understand the sentiment and later in the piece she notes she is just echoing what we tell the government in private, but why rub their noses in it in their own press? How "smart" is that when dealing with an honor culture?

Obviously we need the help of the Pakistanis to keep the Taliban and al Qaeda penned into as small an area as possible. I fail to see how calling them out like this helps that effort. And what would an Obama administration event be without a gratuitous swipe at the evil W.

As a way of repudiating past U.S. policies toward Pakistan, Clinton told the students "there is a huge difference" between the Obama administration's approach and that of former President George W. Bush. "I spent my entire eight years in the Senate opposing him," she said to a burst of applause from the audience of several hundred students. "So to me, it's like daylight and dark."